gaucho, and L. laeta); these were the same antigens used in the immunization of the horses ( Fig. 1A). Taking into account that the in vivo neutralization tests were performed using only the L. intermedia venom, the ELISA plate coating was performed either with the L. intermedia crude venom ( Fig. 1B) or with the active recombinant component of L. intermedia venom (rLiD1) ( Fig. 1C). Regardless of the antigen or dilution used, there was no statistically significant difference between the sera with MS-275 solubility dmso low neutralizing potency (2#, 3#, and 4#) and the sera with high neutralizing potency (5–10). Because it was not possible to establish
a direct correlation between the ELISA reactivity and the neutralizing serum potency using crude venoms or recombinant protein Panobinostat nmr as antigens, we made the assumption
that some epitopes could be possibly associated with the neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, we carried out an epitope-localization in the major antigens of the three Loxosceles venoms using the Spot method. A set of overlapping peptides (15 residues, frame-shifted by three residues) corresponding to the amino acid sequences of SMase I (L. laeta), LiD1 (L. intermedia), and A1H-LoxGa (L. gaucho) was prepared. Fig. 2 shows the binding pattern of the different anti-Loxosceles antivenoms with overlapping peptides. Six high neutralizing potency anti-Loxosceles sera (5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10), dipyridamole three of low neutralizing potency (2#, 3# and 4#) and one pre-immune serum were evaluated. A limited number of these results were presented in Fig. 2 (pre-immune, 2#, 3#, 6, 8 and 9 sera). In general, peptides were recognized by antibodies from high neutralizing
potency sera. However, sera 3# and 8, which gave similar reactivities in ELISA ( Fig. 1), showed clearly different peptide reactivities, in accordance with our hypothesis. Sera reactivity against the LiD1 overlapping peptides indicated three immunodominant regions: one in the N-terminal, one in the center, and another in the C-terminus of the protein. A similar pattern was found with overlapping peptides from A1H-LoxGa. However, at least four regions were found to be strongly immunoreactive using sera against SMase I. Table 1 shows the peptides sequences, their position in the primary structure of the corresponding antigen, molecular weight, theoretical isoelectric point, hydrophobicity, and solvent accessibility. Frequency is the number of anti-Loxosceles sera with high neutralizing potency (HP) or low neutralizing potency (LP) (diluted at 1:5000 or 1:20 000) that were reactive against the peptides. Peptides 1, 2, and 3 did not react with the low neutralizing potency sera diluted 1:20 000. However, the peptides reacted consistently with the high neutralizing potency sera. Therefore, we selected the three peptides for further synthesis and characterization, namely peptides 1 and 3 from SMase I and peptide 2 from A1H-LoxGa and LiD1.